Duggars Want To Be Seen ‘Counseling’ Sexual Assault Victims

As if we already knew that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are desperate to stop the bleeding from their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2015, now comes word that they’re begging TLC to take a chance on them again. Apparently America’s most famous babymakers want to pitch a new show in which they are seen–wait for it–“counseling” victims of sexual assault.

Photo Credit: Jim Bob Duggar/Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Jim Bob Duggar/Wikimedia Commons

You may recall that last week, we told you that TLC has plans to air a one-hour, commercial-free special called “Breaking the Silence,” which is intended to shed light on the horror of child sexual abuse. The network is working very closely with the Duggars and advocates for sexual assault victims to put this special together. Josh’s younger sisters, Jill and Jessa, will figure very prominently in this special. Well, according to several industry outsiders, Jim Bob and Michelle want to parlay this special into a new series in which Jim Bob and Michelle are seen “counseling” people who have been through this horrible ordeal.

I thought this was snark when I saw this on Raw Story. Unfortunately, it isn’t. If you’ve followed this saga closely, you’ll know that this would amount to putting the fox inside the hen house. This is the same couple that dragged their feet in reporting Josh’s actions even though any defensible reason to keep him from having a record evaporated when he fondled a babysitter who was not related to them.

This was the second of three incidents in which Josh fondled girls. Had Jim Bob and Michelle done what any responsible parents would have done and reported it immediately, the third incident would have never happened. To put it in the most diplomatic terms, Jim Bob and Michelle failed Josh and their daughters by not getting Josh help in a timely manner.

Plus, we already got a sneak preview of what Jim Bob and Michelle’s idea of “counseling” is. The Duggars are longtime followers of disgraced Bible teacher Bill Gothard, who taught that there can be times when sexual assault can be the victim’s fault. According to Gothard, if a victim “defrauds” his or her attacker by stirring up lustful thoughts, anything that happens falls on the victim’s shoulders. Additionally, if you put yourself outside of your father’s protection, you leave yourself vulnerable to evil. It’s a near-certainty that Josh’s victims were told that they brought their ordeals on themselves. Just thinking about Jim Bob and Michelle “counseling” a victim by telling him or her that what happened was in any way their fault makes me want to vomit.

Apparently Jim Bob and Michelle have really felt the pinch since TLC wised up and canceled “19 Kids and Counting.” According to a family friend, that show was “their main source of income,” and with 16 mouths to feed, “without it they’re in enormous trouble.” You would think they’d be focused on healing their family after the events of this spring and summer. Apparently they aren’t.

The fact they’re even thinking about “counseling” sexual assault victims on national television should prove beyond any doubt that Jim Bob and Michelle are the real villains in this saga. They defrauded this nation for the better part of a decade, and now they want another chance to do so? What nerve these two have.

Then again, we can’t put it past TLC to actually go along with this birdbrained and depraved idea. Remember, when TLC first discovered the Duggars, the then 18-member brood was shoehorned into a house designed for only a third that many. Even though it was obvious that this situation was unsafe, unsanitary and unlawful, TLC continued to deal with them. If TLC is tone-deaf enough to think that the Duggars should get a third chance, it might be time to ask if TLC should continue to exist in its current form.

You know what to do, Liberal America. Pester TLC on the Web, on Facebook, and on Twitter. If TLC isreally serious about addressing the horrors of child sexual abuse, it will cut all ties with the Duggars. Now.

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.